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DJI Mini 2 SE – Active Track (Explained)

9 mins
Drone Blog
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DJI Mini 2 SE. What an utter success it was for DJI to create this entry-level drone, breaking the barrier for many people to get into flying drones.

It is not a drone that “has it all” like the more expensive DJI drones from the Mini line. 

But to keep its price low without cutting much from quality and performance, there are a few perks missing.

One of these is Active Track.

Indeed, the DJI Mini 2 SE lacks Active Track as it’s an entry-level budget drone released by DJI. It also lacks the follow-me feature. Without these, this drone can still “track” a subject in the most basic way via the QuickShots features.

I guess there’s a bit more information we can cover about Active Track, follow-me mode, what those are, and if there’s any possibility for DJI to introduce this function to the drone.

What is Active Track in a DJI drone? #

Active Track is a DJI flagship innovative feature developed and introduced on many of their drones where an intelligent system can recognize a moving subject (person, car, boat) and track it in real-time with great accuracy to execute different functions.

This tracking system is based on working with the camera vision system, GPS, visual, and other types of sensors and is all processed in real-time by a powerful CPU behind the drone’s flight controller.

Simplified enough, a drone with Active Track will have a visual interface and the ability to “draw a box” or select a subject to accomplish different functions, such as trace, parallel, or spotlight, where you can find the follow-me mode.

And if you have probably read one of my other articles, the DJI Mini 2 SE does NOT have a follow-me mode feature.

And that’s okay. It’s an entry-level drone.

It’s uncommon to find a drone with Active Track but without follow-me mode, or vice versa, where the follow-me is present but there is no Active Track.

They usually work together. 

They are made to work together!

**» MORE: **Follow Me and ActiveTrack on DJI Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Does the DJI Mini 2 SE have Active Track? #

Unfortunately, no.

DJI did not include the Active Track with the release of the DJI Mini 2 SE, which is also lacking on other entry-level “mini” drones. 

The reason is the price.

While the Active Track system can function on visual-based systems, it does depend on a series of sensors and processing power that has to be present in a drone.

This would have a major price increase, and then the DJI Mini 2 SE would no longer be an entry-level budget drone.

Not to mention that Active Track will not work at its established capacity if the anti-collision sensors are absent.

And no, the DJI Mini 2 SE has no obstacle avoidance sensors. This would further increase the drone’s price if it did have some.

That’s why, instead of DJI creating a standard Mini drone with Active Track, follow me mode, and anti-collision sensors that would not differ much from the DJI Mini 3 Pro, they made one of the cheapest drones you can have.

And for that, we shall thank them because, at this price, it is difficult to find any better drones. DJI is well-known for creating high-quality and well-performing drones.

**» MORE: **Does Mavic 3 Have ActiveTrack (& How to Use)

Can you unlock Active Track on Mini 2 SE? #

Unfortunately, this is not possible.

While there are alternative options to the DJI Fly App, such as Litchi, these don’t actually unlock features the DJI app to fly the drone has locked. Not to mention that the Mini 2 SE is not yet compatible with Litchi.

That’s because this drone is not capable of performing active track functions.

For instance, as the Mini 2 SE does not have a follow-me mode, this can be unlocked with Litchi (when this drone gets the SDK). But only in a sense, with minimal functions, because it has its own recognition software that tracks the subject via the drone camera.

Thus, we can say the DJI Mini 2 SE could be “able” to track a subject.

But it won’t be anything like the Active Track. The same standard tracking functions can be found on the quickshots; we will cover this briefly.

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 4 Pro – How to Use Active Track 360 (With Video)

DJI Mini 2 SE intelligent functions #

You will be surprised to hear that the DJI Mini 2 SE does indeed have a few intelligent functions.

Of course, nothing is based on the Active Track system, such as follow me mode, parallel, or trace functions, but we do need to talk about QuickShots.

With Quickshots, whether or not you have Active Track or follow-me mode, the drone can perform a few intelligent cinematic movements to help any beginner take some epic shots.

Why not? We can surely take advantage of it.

QuickShots can be found in almost all DJI drones except for the FPV line.

With QuickShots, as we briefly mentioned above, the drone will be able to track you as a person, but in a minimal way (don’t go too far from the drone, though).

So, what kind of functions can we find under QuickShots that can make us forget about the lack of DJI’s Active Track system on the Mini 2 SE?

But before answering this, to get to the QuickShots menu while on the live view on the DJI Fly App, press the little film strip on the right side of the screen and go down to “QuickShots.”

Now, you can choose one of the following.

**» MORE: **Smart Features in Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Dronie #

The dronie function will make the drone fly backward from you and slightly ascend while recording the entire process. If you put this video in reverse, it will look like the drone is getting close to you from afar.

To activate this intelligent feature, select Dronie from the QuickShots menu and press the “plus” button on the recognizable subject (a.k.a., you) or draw a box around to choose the subject.

Then, start it and enjoy the process.

Rocket #

The “Rocket” smart QuickShot mode is somewhat similar to Dronie. While Dronie goes up in an inclined plane, Rocket will do it nearly in vertical mode.

So basically, it will mime the launch of a rocket. A tremendous innovative feature to get some epic video shots, if you ask me.

To activate Rocket, go to QuickShots and select it. Then, press the plus button on the subject or draw a box and start the process.

Just ensure there is nothing above you (e.g., you’re under a tree) because the Mini 2 SE has no anti-collision sensors, so it’s easy to mess it up.

**» MORE: **DJI Air 3 – Active Track (All You Need to Know with Video)

Helix #

The “Helix mode” is one very intuitive smart function to get some epic shots, which is very difficult to replicate manually, even by professional drone pilots.

Basically, the Helix mode will send your Mini 2 SE in a circle around you while the drone gets closer and farther from you.

It will perform one single orbit, and it’s great to overshow your location. 

Just be sure that there’s nothing around you (obstacles), or the drone can follow a quick path to crashing.

To activate Helix, select it from the QuickShots menu and select or draw a box on a recognizable subject.

Circle #

The circle mode is a simple kind of “Helix.” 

While with Helix, the drone will orbit around you while it gets farther then closer, the circle mode is a simple orbit where the drone will keep a fixed distance from you or the subject.

It’s yet another innovative feature to use with the Mini 2 SE when you’re on a peak of a mountain or location to overshow the surroundings.

Still, let’s not forget that Circle and other QuickShots features are not part of the Active Track, although they’re intelligent enough. 

To activate it, select the Circle from the QuickShots menu and then pick a subject following the same methods as mentioned with the other functions. 

Start it and enjoy the great video it takes.

**» MORE: **How Does Follow Me Mode Work in Drones?

Boomerang #

Well, it’s one of the last QuickShots functions found on the DJI Mini 2 SE drone, despite the lack of Active Track.

It is pretty similar to “circle” and “helix,” but how it creates the semi-orbit will mime a boomerang being thrown by the subject, going far away, and then returning.

Indeed, anyone can have fun with it. 

It is not a simple process to replicate if you want to do it manually.

To activate it, select it from the QuickShots menu and choose the subject on the screen. Once more, ensure there’s nothing around you and, most importantly, behind the drone’s path. 

**» MORE: **Flight Time of All DJI Drones (Explained)

Will DJI add Active Track to DJI Mini 2 SE via firmware update? #

Unfortunately, we doubt that DJI will simply add the Active Track via firmware updates for this drone.

I mean, I don’t think they ever did this with any DJI drones.

While DJI is known to do wonders with its updates and sometimes get new controller cross-compatibilities, Active Track is another story.

Even with all the QuickShots (smart) features this drone has, it’s still not enough for this drone to take full advantage of the Active Track system.

If DJI enabled this function in the Mini 2 SE, it would still vastly underperform compared to other drones where Active Track is natively found.

**» MORE: **DJI Mini 2 Firmware (Read This Before Updating)

Conclusion #

No fuss here.

We get what we get with this drone.

And for the price, I’m surprised to get such a decent drone with good flying capabilities, outstanding performance, wind resistance, and even a decent camera, although the 1/2.3 inch sensor is below today’s average drone camera.

With an entry-level drone such as this, what we have works excellently well; we should be grateful for that.

Of course, suppose you’re looking for a drone with Active Track and follow-me functions, maybe some obstacle avoidance sensors, and even better performance.

In that case, we do recommend looking either at the DJI Mini 3 Pro or, better, at the newest DJI Mini 4 Pro drone.

**» MORE: **Does DJI Mini 2 SE Come with a Charger? (See Our Recommendation)


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